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Vinita Singh

LAHRI Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Areas of expertise
Literature and medicine, Romanticism and medicine, British Romanticism and Science, Health and Wellbeing in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century, Medical Humanities, History of Medicine.
Clothworkers South Building, University of Leeds Campus
Arts, Humanities and Cultures
Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute

In the year 2023-4, I will be working on my LAHRI PDRF Project titledNarratives of Child Health in the British Romantic Period.’ In this project, I aim to look at sick children’s letters that were written in the Romantic period, frequently under the supervision of the churches. My aim is to understand how children in the period experienced childhood sickness and the role that religion played in influencing this experience of losing health as a child. Romantic writing has often been criticised for having given less primacy to children’s voices, especially regarding childhood health and sickness. In this project, which is a part of a longer project that I aim to develop in 2023-4, I focus on the long-eighteenth-century children’s perceptions of their illnesses. The ambiguity remains that adults’ perspective might lurk beneath the supposed children’s ideas; however, I suggest that in these letters, often children also spoke in unwarranted ways and tones that resisted adults’ perception of illness and health.

Prior to undertaking the LAHRI project, I finished my doctoral dissertation titled ‘Childhood Sickness and Health in British Romantic Writing’ at the School of English, University of Leeds. My doctoral thesis considered the engagement of four British Romantic writers with popular medical debates on children’s sickness. The authors examined were Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Jane Cave, and Isabella Kelly. My thesis drew close links between literary and popular medical writing of the Romantic period and showed that the Romantic period’s literary texts not only popularised specific medical ideas on children’s sickness but also attributed legitimacy to some of those ideas while rejecting and critiquing others. By examining the interaction between the four authors and the popular medical treatises of the period, the project explored what British Romantic literature says about childhood health and sickness.

I am always keen to collaborate and exchange ideas with other colleagues and researchers working in the following areas:

  • Narratives of Health and Illness in the long-eighteenth century
  • British Romanticism
  • Romanticism and Medicine
  • Romantic Authors and Human Sciences


PhD in English Literature, School of English, University of Leeds, 2016-22

Dissertation Title: Childhood Sickness and Health in British Romantic Writing

M.Phil. in English Literature, Dept. of English, University of Delhi, India, 2013 (GRADE A)

Dissertation Title: The Politics of Sexuality and the Disabled Body in India

MA in English Literature, 2010 (First Class)

BA in English Literature Hons, 2008 (First Class)


The Stephen Copley Research Award, awarded by the British Association of Romantic Studies (BARS), 2023 (500 £)

British Women Writers Association Travel Award to present my paper ‘Blurred Borders: Distinguishing the ‘Hard-Hearted Wretch’ and the ‘anxious mother’, at Baylor University, May 2022

PGR Dissemination awards, awarded by the University of Leeds, 2 in numbers, Nov. 2019

RSAA International Student Bursary, November 2019

 2016- 2021

Leeds International Research Scholarship (University of Leeds)